For the first time, new leaders to swear oath at inaugural ceremony

By Vo Hai, Vuong Anh   April 1, 2016 | 03:06 am PT
Newly elected leaders of Vietnam, for the first time in 70 years, have to take an oath of office before assuming their posts.

Chairwoman of the NA Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan is sworn in at her inaugural ceremony on March 31.

For the first time in 70 years, newly elected President, Chair of the National Assembly, Prime Minister and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are required to take an oath of loyalty to the nation, the people and the constitution at their inaugural ceremony. The practice is spelled out in the National Assembly's resolution passed last November. 

The process involves the oath taker to say a number of mandatory phrases while the rest of the speech's content is up to each official, as long as it is about their respective duties. 

The heads of state deliver a three-minute long speech with one hand on the constitution while raising the other until finish.

Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, the new chair of the NA, was the first among other leaders to swear an oath during her inaugural ceremony on March 31.

Secretary General of the National Assembly Nguyen Hanh Phuc said that Vietnam’s top positions, including Ngan and three others, will retake their oaths at the first meeting of the new NA scheduled for July.

The oath was “short but very formal”, Le Minh Thong, deputy secretary general of the NA said about Ngan's speech. "It satisfies what one would expect from an inaugural ceremony, both in terms of content and formality.”

“There are no specific guidelines for the ceremony. We just go ahead with it and gradually learn through experience. Once everything is well placed, we will write it into regulations,” Thong said.

Some NA’s delegates have made recommendations for improvement, which Phuc agreed to take into consideration.

He said that the sworn-in ceremony of the NA was the first since President Ho Chi Minh took an oath of office back in 1946.

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